I probably cheered so hard for Marc Pouliot that most people didn’t notice that JF Jacques was getting a push at this blog too. I know it’s all over now, but there was a time when Jacques could turn heads just by stepping on the ice.
JF Jacques was (imo) the mountain man with the most potential as an NHL player. Injuries and time away from the game have robbed him of (seemingly) all skill, but there was a time when he looked deadly.
He was big and he was fast. He scored 24 goals in the AHL at age 20, a very nice pro debut. Among the forwards drafted by Edmonton 2000-05 (and played in the AHL at 20) those 24 goals rank behind only Matthew Lombardi (25). Among the young men his 24 goals eclipsed was Jarret Stoll (21).
JF Jacques can still turn heads. That’s why he is still on the big league roster.
•Boxcars: 49gp, 4-7-11
•Plus Minus: -15
•Corsi (Rel): -14.9 (12th among F’s)
•GF/GA ON: 18-32
•5×5/60: 1.26 (10th among F’s)
•Quality of Competition: 8th toughest among F’s
•Quality of Teammates: 6th best among F’s
•FO %: 40.0% in 5 FO’s
•Cap Hit: $615,000
- What do these numbers tell us? Jacques played in very good situations and delivered well below expectations. Over the years his NHLE’s suggested Jacques should be able to help a little offensively (say 15 goals in a full season) but he didn’t deserve to stay in the lineup this season. He also played with some pretty good linemates a lot of the time and didn’t get much done. The Corsi runs with/without Jacques suggest that pretty much everyone on the roster with a pulse was more likely to be successful without Jacques than with him. It was devastating, like the French in war.
- How Could these numbers be better? If he’d done them in a less featured role that would have helped, but those points were posted with the best Oilers available (for the most part) and Jacques was a rally killer. If hockey had a Mendoza line he’d have to pack a lunch and walk all day to get there.
- The organization likes him. Well, I think they see the same things we all saw when Jacques arrived: big guy with speed who looks like he can play. I’ll even go farther than that: at one time I would have bet Jacques could play, but injuries and time away from the game have impacted his ability.
- Maybe he can get it back. Maybe, but where do you want him to fly those sorties. Alongside Hemsky and Horcoff? And you know, back injuries are just the worst, especially for guys who fight (Jacques fights).
- What about a 4line role? Well, they have Stortini and MacIntyre for the physical roles. I think the Oilers would like to find a skill role for Jacques.
- Quinn loved him. Again, you show any coach in the world a forward who can skate really well, stands 6.04 and weighs 220 and has the nickname Crazy Train and I’ll show you an excited coach. I think that is why he’s on the team, frankly. Renney saw him good enough to give him another try. Jacques is an attractive idea, if not an effective hockey player.
- So you hold out no hope for him. Hey, I’ll be cheering for him and hope the back stands up and he can play at speed with brilliant men. But JF Jacques hasn’t played what we could reasonably call a full season since 2006-07 (66 games) and in the last two seasons has played 64 games in the NHL/AHL. I think he’d need a full, healthy season in the minors before we could begin to dream again.
- How important is he to the organization: In that he fills a need (when effective and healthy) Jacques has a very nice window of opportunity here. Having said that, he had surgery in early March (back) and we’ll await his health at training camp. Counting on JF Jacques is folly at this point.
Predictions Past 2009-10: 50gp, 3-7-10 (.200)
Performance in 2009-10: 49gp, 4-7-11 (.224)
Prediction for 2010-11: 25gp, 1-1-2
Oilers love his size/speed, back a concern